Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) has increased remuneration for council staff ahead of the upcoming election.
Since its inception in 2010, SPMRM stipends have remained static at $10,000 for the mayor and $6,000 for councillors. At a council meeting on July 19, councillors discussed increasing the rate to keep up with surrounding communities and encourage younger people to run.
“I think it is our duty as council of the day to suggest what the rates could be for an incoming council so they’re not in a situation of having to pass a bylaw on their own stipends,” Mayor Al Raine said in the meeting. “If we ask people to give up a fair bit of their time, they should be at least compensated.”
In a recent investigation by CBC, journalist Justin McElroy ranked the salary of every mayor and councillor in British Columbia in 2021. SPMRM’s remuneration landed 145th of the 161 municipalities across the province.
Although many of the higher salary positions are full-time, SPMRM’s stipends were lower than nearby municipalities with a comparable population.
Council members agreed more appropriate compensation would be $15,000 for the mayor and $8,000 for councillors, similar to the municipality of Ashcroft. SPMRM passed a bylaw to increase stipends to this level beginning the next fiscal year.
This discussion comes ahead of the October 2022 municipal election. Since Raine and two councillors are retiring, the increase looks to encourage anyone to run despite age or financial position.
“We don’t want to have a council that’s only retired folks,” Raine said. “We want to make sure that younger people can think about running for council without any financial hardship.”
SPMRM agreed to review remuneration rates again at the end of each fiscal year.